Start a business in Austria

Updated 2020-01-09 11:52

If you are seeking more than employment, starting your own business in Austria would be the other choice. Depending on where your residence is, you will have to go through different phases and experience other obstacles. In general, Austria is a very good location to set up a business as its economy is considered being one of the most stable ones around the globe.

Conditions to be met for setting up a business in Austria

If you are a passport holder from an EU country, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area, then you can open a business with no special visas or permits required. If you are from outside of these areas, a residence permit is required. You must also be over the age of 18 and have no criminal record from your country of residence. If all requirements are met, foreigners are able to start a business, buy a company, or work as a CEO or company director.

Formalities for creating a company in Austria

Business owners must apply for a trade license from the local district authority. You will need to provide personal details, business location and the type of business. You must also register your business with the Austrian Commercial Register. They will require personal information, including your passport, the details of the business type, and several registration fees that will need to be paid, including a trade license. All documents will need to be translated into German, if not already, and official copies must be certified by a notary. Once all registrations have been approved, and all fees have been paid, the business can legally trade.

Types of businesses in Austria

The most common business type registered in Austria is 'company with limited liability', known locally as 'GmbH'. Other types are KG (Kommanditgesellschaft), OG (Offene Gesellschaft), GesbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts), Stille Gesellschaft, Privatstiftung, Sole trader, ao.

The easiest way is working as a sole trader as it can be formed by one person only. It has to be a natural person, though. You do not have to fulfill any requirements about share capital, but you will have to register your trade name at the official register for companies.

Business taxes in Austria

Austrian businesses pay a value-added tax of 20%, and a corporation tax of 25% of income, approximately. Individuals also pay income tax, which is calculated based on income earned.

 Useful links:

Business taxation
Invest in Austria
List of entity types Austria

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